Netflix Subscribers Surpass Expectations, But Downturn Expected


The streaming giant added 15.77 million paid subscribers globally during the quarter compared with analysts' estimates of almost eight million, according to research firm FactSet.

The streaming firm expects a net increase of 7.5 million paid subscriptions in the current quarter to June but said: "Given the uncertainty on home confinement timing, this is mostly guesswork". Now it shares the 10 most-popular programs on the service-and it seems to amplify the burgeoning popularity of series like Tiger King.

Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) said on Wednesday it plans to raise about $1 billion in debt, a day after the streaming pioneer doubled its own projections for new customers as stuck-at-home users binged on original shows.

For the first quarter of 2020, Netflix reported interest expense of $184.1 million (3.2% of revenue) compared with $135.5 million (3.0% of revenue) a year prior.

For the second quarter, Netflix is projecting to only add 7.5 million subscribers.

Forced isolation measures to help fight the novel coronavirus, coupled with popular new shows including Tiger King, helped the company's shares to rise by 0.5 per cent in after-hours trading in the USA on Tuesday.

The company's biggest expansion from January through March came from Europe, where it added 4.4 million new customers.

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The firm now has more than 182 million subscribers worldwide. "My hat's off to them", he said.

Hastings said Netflix is "unsure what the future brings". That was just a guess, Hastings said, adding that the only thing he feels certain about these days is that video streaming win more converts for at least the next five years.

In addition, it also said that due to the shutdown of Hollywood productions "some cash spending on content will be delayed, improving our free cash flow, and some title releases will be delayed, typically by a quarter". "We expect viewing to decline and membership growth to decelerate as home confinement ends".

Business is good for Netflix, which has become one of the rare companies to benefit during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. "We have to be able to look our employees and cast and crew in the eyes and say, "This is a safe place to work'", he said".

Netflix shares danced around the closing price in after-market trades that followed the release of the earnings report. Revenue for Q1 is also slightly higher than predicted, at $5.77 billion against $5.76.

"We have paused most of our productions across the world in response to government lockdowns and guidance from local public health officials", the company said in the earnings release. Asia-Pacific followed with 3.6 million additional subscribers, then Latin America with 2.9 million, and the U.S. and Canada with 2.3 million.

"The coronavirus has reached every corner of the world and, in the absence of a widespread treatment or vaccine, no one knows how or when this bad crisis will end", the company said in a statement.